In preparation for my trip to SlowExposures Photo Festival in Zebulon, Georgia next week I reread Sally Mann's text in Deep South today. The excerpt below addresses memory and being a southerner, two themes that have been on my mind of late.
"Living in the South often means slipping out of a temporal joint, a peculiar phenomenon that I find both nourishes and wounds. To identify a person as a Southerner suggest not only that her history is inescapable and formative but that it is also impossibly present. Southerners live uneasily at the nexus between myth and reality, watching the mishmash amalgam of sorrow, humility, honor, graciousness, and renegade defiance play out against a backdrop of profligate physical beauty.
… Because of [the South’s] history of defeat and loss, we Southerners embrace the Proustian concept that the only true paradise is a lost paradise. Like Proust, we know love emerges from loss and becomes memory, and that memory informs and enriches art.”